Tour the chic seaside village of Port Douglas and the iconic and lesser-known landmarks of the area. As the landscape lends itself to ease of exploring, travel around Port Douglas can be easily achieved by foot or on two wheels. Humming with activity, Port Douglas has a boutique retail, dining and cafe precinct along Macrossan Street and in the main village area. Port Douglas is the closest departure port to the Great Barrier Reef with over a dozen tours departing daily.
A safe, patrolled beach to stay awhile on your journey along the Great Barrier Reef Drive is Four Mile Beach, which stretches the length of the peninsula upon which Port Douglas sits, with compact white sand and the calm Coral Sea lapping at the shore inviting visitors to stay and play. Ride the length of the beach (true to its ‘Four Mile’ name) on a hire bike, or grab an umbrella and lounge chair and soak up the sun. Tap into your adventurous spirit with a kitesurfing lesson or hire a stand-up paddleboard and see the fringing reef and sea life from above. Walk to Flagstaff Hill Lookout and admire the stunning coastline, complete with views to Low Isles, Snapper Island and the dramatic mountain ranges behind Port Douglas. Relax on pristine, palm-fringed sands which stretch as far as the eye can see. Four Mile Beach is also host to a number of events each year, including the family fun-filled Beach Day during Port Douglas Carnivale and features in the course for sporting events triathlons, mountain bike races, outrigging races, and running festivals.
An iconic view of the Port Douglas coastline includes the eye-catching Sugar Wharf, originally built in 1877 as a port to service the Hodgkinson Goldfield in the Tablelands. Following the gold rush and prior to the construction of railway lines to Cairns, it functioned to service the mining and sugar industries up until the late 1950's. Port Douglas itself became a fishing and holiday town until the 1980's when tourism became the major drawcard. The Sugar Wharf was commonly known as the 'Shipwreck Museum', a museum that housed a large collection of shipwreck relics including Captain Cook's 'Endeavour' up until the early 2000's. Today, the Sugar Wharf is primarily used as an venue for weddings and other events as well as a local fishing spot.
Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina is the closest and most northern departure port along the Great Barrier Reef Drive. Experience a Great Barrier Reef tour tailored to your unique requirements departing throughout the day or enjoy a leisurely sunset sail and cruise down the Port Douglas Inlet. The Marina boasts some of Port's dining and bar hotspots, where you can enjoy cocktails to craft beers, wood-fired pizzas and fresh seafood from your own sun lounge. You can also take a ride down memory lane on the Bally Hooley Steam Train, a historic steam train that journeys through Port Douglas on a sightseeing tour, stopping along the way at resorts and cafes.
Rex Smeal Park is located on the peninsula of Port Douglas and is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike to take in the daily sunset. With views of the rainforest-clad Daintree mountain ranges, the Coral Sea, Low Isles, Snapper Isles and the inlet, it's the perfect place to pull up a picnic chair and bring along an esky filled with cold drinks and perhaps a few prawns from the local seafood shop. Watch the reef boats come in from a day exploring the Great Barrier Reef, the yachts heading out for a sunset sail and enjoy the fresh, tropical air under the coconut trees. The kids will even enjoy playing on the playground, or kicking a ball around before bedtime beckons.
South of Port Douglas lies the Mowbray Valley, in the foothills of the Macalister Range and the Wet Tropics Mowbray National Park. The historic 'Bump Track' can be accessed here, first blazed in 1877 from traditional Aboriginal walking tracks to transport gold from the Hodgkinson Goldfield in the Tablelands to the port (now called the Sugar Wharf) at Port Douglas. Now the Bump Track is open to walkers, mountain bikers and horses and traverses Mowbray National Park between the coastal lowlands and Black Mountain Road. Take on this adventurous (and steep) walk and be rewarded with epic coastal views to Low Isles and watch the scenery change from eucalypt forest to rainforest. While exploring the Mowbray Valley, stop and dip your feet into the local swimming spot at the Spring Creek bridge, or spot the local Crocodylus residents sunbaking under the Mowbray River bridge. If you are up for a real adventure, take a guided walking tour to the Mowbray Falls or go rock hopping to Spring Creek.
Walk to the Port Douglas lookout on the Flagstaff Hill Walking Trail around the Port Douglas peninsula, from Four Mile Beach to Rex Smeal Park.
If you need a picture worth framing (or posting) look no further than the Flagstaff Hill Lookout. Located at the summit of Island Point Road, it is an easy walk, bike ride or even short drive to the lookout viewing area. From here you will witness sweeping, majestic views of Four Mile Beach and the rainforest-clad mountain ranges to the south. Venture along the Flagstaff Hill Walking Trail down to Four Mile Beach and walk the plank (or viewing platform) and take in the 180-degree views to the Coral Sea, Low Isles and Snapper Island to the north. Find the hidden Low Isles Lighthouse viewing platform located on the corner where Wharf and Island Point Roads meet.
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